Gardner's Seven Intelligences

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Howard Gardner's basic premise is that intelligence is not a single construct. Individuals have at least seven distinct intelligences that can be developed over a lifetime.

The first objective is to learn to use the seven intelligences and the second is to discover that using different intelligences creates a deeper, richer and more varied approach to learning.

Verbal/Linguistic: The ability to use words effectively both orally and in writing. Sample skills are remembering information, convincing others to help, and talking about language itself.

Musical: Sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, and melody. Sample skills are recognizing simple songs and being able to vary speed, tempo, and rhythm in simple melodies.

Logical/Mathematical: The ability to use numbers effectively and reason well. Sample skills are understanding the basic properties of numbers, principles of cause and effect, and the ability to predict.

Spatial/Visual: Sensitivity to form, space, color, line, and shape. Sample skills include the ability to graphically represent visual or spatial ideas.

Bodily/Kinesthetic: The ability to use the body to express ideas and feelings and to solve problems. Sample skills are coordination, flexibility, speed, and balance.

Interpersonal: The ability to understand another person's moods, feelings, motivations, and intentions. Sample skills are responding effectively to other people, problem solving, and resolving conflict.

Intrapersonal: The ability to understand yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, moods, desires, and intentions. Sample skills are understanding how one is similar or different from others, reminding oneself to do something, knowing about oneself as a language learner, and knowing how to handle one's feelings.

T his is all very good, but how does it apply to our teaching? Let's identify the activities that we frequently use in our classes and categorize them.


  •  Note-taking
  •  Listening to lectures
  •  Reading books
  •  Storytelling
  •  Debates
  •  Playing word games
  •  Singing
  •  Playing recorded music
  •  Playing live music, (piano, guitar)
  •  Clap the Stress
  •  Jazz Chants
  •  Science demonstrations and experiments
  •  Logic puzzles and games
  •  Seeing words inside words
  •  Keeping track of simple word patterns
  •  Story problems with numbers
  •  Logical/sequential presentation of subject matter
  •  Using charts and grids
  •  Videos, slides, movies
  •  Using art
  •  Using graphic organizers
  •  Hands-on activities
  •  Field trips
  •  Role-plays
  •  Pair-work or peer teaching
  •  Board games
  •  Group brainstorming
  •  Group problem solving
  •  Project work
  •  Activities with a self-evaluation component
  •  Interest centers
  •  Options for homework
  •  Personal journal keeping
Keep track of the activities in your classroom. See if you can branch out and in time, include some form of all seven of these intelligences.

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ESL Ministry
Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church
1801 Lacassie Avenue Ball Walnut Creek Ball California 94596 Ball  925-935-1574
Joanne Rae Meads Ball
September 16, 1999